The recent poor weather for this time of year, as well as the easing of lockdown restrictions, will be turning many people’s minds towards booking summer holidays.

But households are being cautioned by insurers to carefully consider their options before booking any overseas trips.

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According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), here’s what you need to know…

1. Always make sure it is safe to travel to your desired destination

Young woman at the airport checking for the flight

Always check current Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice, as travelling against FCDO advice is likely to invalidate your travel insurance. Be aware of any quarantine requirements on your return to the UK – travel insurance will generally not cover costs associated with quarantining in Government-provided accommodation.

2. Buy travel insurance and make sure that it best meets your needs

The main reason for travel insurance is to cover the costs of emergency overseas medical treatment, which together with any repatriation required back to the UK, can easily run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

 

3. Check and be aware of any Covid-19 exclusions in your travel insurance

All ABI travel insurers will continue to provide cover for emergency medical treatment needed overseas, including emergency medical treatment related to Covid-19. However, policies are unlikely to cover cancellation due to Covid-19, as it was a known risk when the policy was taken out.

4. Be aware of, and comply with, travel requirements for entering overseas countries

It is your responsibility to comply with any border restrictions in place in your destination country. If you do not comply with these requirements, then you will need to return home, generally at your own cost.

5. Have your EHIC, or get a GHIC, if travelling to Europe

Shot of a family of four spending the day at the beach

If you hold a current European Health Insurance Card (the EHIC entitles you to access state-provided healthcare when visiting the EU), this remains valid until its expiry date. After then, or if you do not have an EHIC, you will need to apply in the same way for a Global Health Insurance Card or GHIC.

Neither the EHIC nor the GHIC is a replacement for travel insurance, as it will not cover you for all medical costs, or the cost of emergency repatriation back to the UK.

6. Know your rights

Get as much information as you can, so that in the event of any travel problems, you know what you are entitled to. For example, check the refund policy of any accommodation provider, what you are entitled to if booking a package holiday, and what the legal obligations of the airline are if your flight is disrupted or cancelled.

For more information, visit abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-hub/travel-insurance

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